Friday, December 26, 2014

A Christmas Story

When I was very young, time did not exist. Or at least that was so on Christmas Day. There was this Christmas and the next and the next and each and all were one and the same. Memory was not a thing of the past but something enacted in the present, both perfectly new and perfectly eternal. My brother and I had our own Christmas tree in our room - a small, tattered, beautiful cellophane thing, blue, and bedecked with ornaments that our mother had discarded, the themes of previous years, chipped, faded, beloved. And there were always two presents under our tree, one for him and one for me. We had chosen carefully from our allowances of saved quarters and dimes. Our parents would not yet have awakened - no parents are awake that early on Christmas morning - and so we quietly unravelled our clumsily bound and taped treasures, still winking the previous night's slumber from our eyes. This was the first light of forever, this waking dream into which we had fallen, the first step toward the hallway and the stairway and the descent to the main floor where our stockings waited by the frosted window, spilling over with candy and trinkets, and beyond that, in the main room, the evergreen tree, dressed in dazzling light and tinsel for just this moment, every moment, then, now and forever, the lower branches lost in bright packages and boxes, of every conceivable size and shape. No, There was no time, just this: bounty, color, life, love. It was Christmas, with us now, with us forever, even to the end of the age.

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